General Question

2late2be's avatar

Is the epidural shot dangerous?

Asked by 2late2be (2289points) October 25th, 2008 from iPhone

I had it with my first son and didn’t had any complications, now, I’m due in march 17th and I am really considerating having it again… Anyone had any kind of experience? Good or bad… Some say you can be paralyzed…

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7 Answers

chicadelplaya's avatar

I used to work at a gym for pregnant women for many years and I don’t recall hearing any horror stories, other than it not working. They do inject it directly into your spine, which basically contains all nerves, so of course there is some risk of nerve damage. But I don’t think it happens all that often. At least let’s hope not. Good luck!

shilolo's avatar

The risk of complications is very low. For clarification, the needle does not go directly into your spine, per se. The doctor introduces a small needle between the vertebrae (the bones of your spinal column) and accesses the spinal fluid. She then inserts a tiny wire and removes the needle. The wire is there to guide the tube (or catheter) into your epidural space (the space around your spinal nerves). Once the flexible tube is in place, the wire is removed, leaving just a plastic tube to release the medicine into your epidural space. Complications can include bleeding and infection, but these are rare. I’ve never heard of paralysis from an epidural for pregnancy.

cheebdragon's avatar

You won’t be worried about it when that pain kicks in….or at least I wasn’t…..but I do remember the lady telling me over and over, that it is really important you don’t move while they are giving the shot.

SndfreQs wife had complications from the epidural…...if I’m not mistaken?

shilolo's avatar

For anyone wondering, here is an image that illustrates my description above.

chicadelplaya's avatar

@shilolo- Thank you for the correction and the correct explanation of the detailed procedure. I’ve never had one and I haven’t seen one being administered. Good to know.

Snoopy's avatar

Tip o’ the hat to shilolo for referring to the doctor as female

I worked at one time w/ a female anesthesiologist. She had one kid natural and the second w/ an epidural. I asked her what she thought about it….her vote was epidural.
I had both of my kids w/ an epidural. Giving birth is much more risky itself than getting an epidural.
There are risks to any medical procedure….even starting an IV or getting stitches.
Discuss at length w/ you OB any concerns you have to determine what is the right thing for you to do w/ this delivery.
Congratulations and best wishes!

deaddolly's avatar


My doc told me she didn’t beleive in pain during childbirth…I loved my epidural. Had one when I got shots in my back as well. Never had problems.

Talk to your doctor and find out about the anesthesiologist…it will reasure you.

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